Navigating life as a woman in the world today is interesting. From Nigeria to Timbuktu, it’ll amaze you how similar all our experiences are. Every Wednesday, women the world over will share their experiences on everything from sex to politics right here. This is Zikoko’s What She Said.
TW: Sexual Assault
The subject of today’s What She Said is a 19-year-old who talks about various times she’s been assaulted, and how she feels liking sex invalidates her assault.
Tell me something about yourself
I don’t talk about it much, but let me tell you about one of the times I was assaulted.
We had harvest that day in church and I was wearing my school uniform. I was standing at the back of the church because my mum told me to wait for her there.
While I was there, a random man holding a child came to stand behind me. The church was full, so I didn’t consider it a big deal. Plus, he had a child. I thought he was safe, until he humped me. At first I thought it was an accident, but he continued. I felt his hand up my school uniform skirt. I was 12.
I’m so sorry
Yeah, but unfortunately for me, it wasn’t the only time. The second time I got assaulted, it was by a man who worked for my father. He had come over to take something my father sent him to pick up, and I was home alone. It was so random, the way he pinned me against the wall. I didn’t even know how to process it.
It happened again with a woman in my family. I don’t know how we were related, but she was always in the family house. My parents didn’t believe me when I told them she raped me. Nobody did.
It went on for long with different people. Teachers, lecturers, priests, friends, family members, even random people.
Wow. How do you process that?
I don’t tell people about it, or think about it or anything. I try to repress my emotions as much as I can because there’s no point to it. It’ll happen again and what then?
All the assault made it almost impossible for me to have sex. I could kiss people because the people that assaulted me never kissed me, but the thought of anyone touching me takes me back to those people who touched my body without my permission.
I think that’s why when I had sex for the first time, I didn’t let my partner touch me.
We were in an all girls boarding school, and she was in the room beside mine. She was the only one that actually ever listened to me. She didn’t act like the people who just kept waiting for their own turn to speak. She seemed genuinely interested. Everyone in school thought we were dating, but we weren’t.
I remember the first time we kissed. It was during one of our regular long conversations. She told me she knows I want to kiss her, and it’s better it happened sooner. So, we did it. I loved it.
When her hands tried to go under my skirt, I told her to stop and she did. She told me that she wanted me to touch her, but it was okay if I wasn’t ready to be touched yet. That was the first time I had sex. She didn’t touch me, and I loved that.
So, did you only have sex with women?
Yes, I did. I think I’m a lesbian, but then I am attracted to non-binary people as well. Basically, I’m attracted to anyone that isn’t a cis-man.
Before, I considered myself romantically attracted to men, but then men always want sex. You’re nice to a man and he wants to sleep with you. You talk to him with a soft voice and he wants to sleep with you. It’s even more annoying because they don’t take no for an answer. Most of the men I’ve met either force you to have sex with them or beg you until you say yes, and I think if you have to constantly beg someone to sleep with you, then doesn’t it sound rapey?
Unfortunately, I think I’m like the men in some way. I want to have sex with everyone, and I mean everyone.
After the girl in secondary school, I think I got addicted to fucking people. In secondary school, girls were everywhere, and they were always looking for someone to sleep with them. They’d ask me if I wanted to, and I’d say yes.
At a point, it felt like they were giving recommendations. After I sleep with one person, it’s like she’d tell her friends and they’d tell their friends. I grew a bit of a reputation.
But you never let them touch you?
Yeah, I didn’t. I simply considered myself there for public usage.
The first person to touch me was the first girl I had sex with. Overtime, while I was fornicating with half of my school and more, we got even more comfortable.
One day, we talked till 3 a.m. and then we had sex till 6 a.m. It was the first time someone touched me consensually, and I liked it so much, I think she created a monster. Without knowing how good sex felt, I already wanted to sleep with everyone. Now, I knew how good it felt and I didn’t want to stop. I wanted everyone to feel the way I felt.
So, you were like some orgasm Santa Claus?
Something like that. I just wanted it to feel good for people, the way those people that assaulted me didn’t make me feel, but the way that woman did.
However, it made me feel like a fraud. I thought that people who were assaulted were meant to be afraid of sex and could barely stand people touching them, but here I was, fucking everyone that asked. It was like I was doing the whole assault thing wrong. I promise I’m not a bad person, just a horny one.
Why do you say that?
Internalised hatred for myself. Also, because of the way my family treated me. I was always considered the black sheep or the spoilt one who always did bad things like getting into fights. Maybe that’s why they didn’t believe me when I told them I was assaulted.
I don’t think my parents liked me as much. I acted out most times, and did things that got me into trouble before I thought about the consequences of my actions. I mean, it didn’t make sense to have sex with someone on a staircase in secondary school, but I did it anyways. Luckily, I wasn’t caught.
A lot of people think I’m weird and strange for acting the way I am, but maybe I just need help? I don’t plan on actively searching for it. I think I’m good.
I hope you do what’s best. What’s life like for you now?
I’m taking it one day at a time. Remember how I said people think I’m usually weird for the way I act and the jokes I make? Well, I met this girl a month ago who shares similar kinks with me.
She’s fine with me always wanting to have sex all the time, and maybe it’s because she’s just as sexual as I am. I’m in love with her, and I think she’s the love of my life. I wonder what life will be like for us. I want to ask her to be my girlfriend.
I hope everything works out well for you
Thank you. I hope so too.